Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Cleaning Decisions Videos

Part 5 of Conserving a Canaletto

Now that the painting has gotten a thorough check-up and health assessment by the curatorial and conservation teams, it is time to decide how best to treat it.

The first step in treating a work of art is to give it a cleaning. Making these cleaning decisions is both an art and a science and not as straightforward as one might think. Decisions are subjective and objective—aesthetic and scientific. Both are equally important when treating artworks. By cleaning the picture, the conservation and curatorial teams are visually altering it, thus the process involves constant communication between conservation expert James Squires and Timothy Standring, curator of paintings and sculpture.

Check out the two 2-minute videos below to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the two talking shop and outlining a cleaning strategy that respects the artist's original intentions.

This post is one in a multi-part series by Denver Art Museum staff on a long lost painting located in our collections. Find links to more from the series.

 

 

Lindsey Housel is the manager of digital engagement programs and master teacher for architecture, design, and graphics in the education department. Lindsey has been at the DAM since 2002 and her two favorite exhibitions that have been on view here are Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective and the photography exhibition Robert Benjamin: Notes on a Quiet Life.